Europa rocket

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The Europa rocket was an early expendable launch system of the European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO), which was the precursor to the European Space Agency and its Ariane family of launchers. The programme was initiated by the UK and the first launch occurred in August 1967.

Tasks were to be distributed between nations: the United Kingdom would provide the first stage (derived from the Blue Streak missile), France would build the second and Germany the third stage.

The Europa programme was divided into 4 successive projects :

  • Europa 1: 4 unsuccessful launches
  • Europa 2: 1 unsuccessful launch
  • Europa 3: Cancelled before any launch occurred
  • Europa 4: Study only, later cancelled

The project was marred by technical problems. Although the first stage (the British Blue Streak) launched successfully on each occasion, it was the second or third stage that failed.



Project history

Europa rocket launches



  • Bleeker, J. A. M., M. Huber, and Johannes Geiss (2001). The Century of Space Exploration. Dordrer: Klower Academic Publications.
  • Bonnet, R. M. (1998). "Europe's Final Frontier." Forum for Applied Research and Technology. 13.
  • (1967). "European Rocket Crashes on Flight." New York Times. August 5.
  • Harvey, Brian (2003). Europe's Space Programma: To Ariane and Beyond. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
  • Morgan Dan (1969). "Europe's Rocketry Beset By Failure." Washington Post. July 24.

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